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A Journey of Learning and Growth: Engaging with Refugee and Immigrant Communities in Staffing

January 22, 2024

Written by

Gabe Gulick, CEO of Percipio Workforce Solutions Temporary Staffing Services


After spending over a decade in the light industrial staffing industry, I’ve realized that there is always something new to learn and ways to improve.

This understanding became even more pronounced when I started my own business, transforming each day into an adventure filled with unique challenges. In the past, specialized departments handled these issues, but running your own business means becoming the expert yourself.

The past six months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. From exhilarating highs to challenging lows, this journey has been anything but mundane. A standout achievement during this time is the progress we’ve made on a goal I’ve been pursuing since my early days in staffing: effectively engaging with refugee and immigrant communities.

Throughout the past decade, I faced numerous setbacks in this endeavor. Leading teams that struggled to execute this vision, unproductive meetings, and countless hours searching for external solutions marked the journey with challenges. However, I’ve come to realize that the biggest obstacle was myself.

I spent years looking for others to provide a ready-made solution, not realizing that what I sought didn’t exist. The belief that an organization was out there, waiting to partner with us, seems na├»ve in hindsight. The turning point came when I understood that I had to be the solution. This realization set me on a path of active engagement and hard work.

I began by networking, and talking to chamber members, other employers, and community leaders, each leading me to new connections. These efforts led to a pivotal partnership with someone who shared my vision and helped me forge more relationships. I participated in hiring events, followed up diligently, and shared our story passionately.

This journey wasn’t quick or easy, but over the past six months, we’ve made significant strides. We’ve become a trusted resource for resettlement agencies in Iowa, overcoming language and cultural barriers to help individuals integrate into the workforce. Our organization now stands as a beacon of hope for many, aiding them in their pursuit of the American Dream.

This experience has taught me the importance of being the change you want to see. By taking initiative and building genuine connections, we’ve started to make a real difference in the lives of refugees and immigrants. As we continue to learn and grow, we remain committed to being a supportive and understanding partner in their journey toward a better life in America.

About Gabe Gulick

With over 20 years of experience in management and leadership, the last 11+ in staffing and employment, Gabe brings robust experience to the team having previously served as an area manager, regional manager, regional Vice President, and CEO of staffing firms in the Midwest.

Contact Gabe today!


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